Share this page
Jump to:

Power Plant

A power plant is an industrial facility used to generate electric power with the help of one or more generators which converts different energy sources into electric power.

Contributors

What is Power Plant?

A power plant is an industrial facility used to generate electric power with the help of one or more generators which converts different energy sources into electric power.

Electricity is a secondary energy source, which means that electricity is obtained from the conversion of other primary sources of energy, such as coalnatural gasnuclearsolar, or wind energy. The energy sources used to make electricity can be renewable or non-renewable, but electricity itself is neither renewable or non-renewable. The power plant is the location in which the energy conversions take place.

Traditionally, large power plants have been located in sub-urban regions away from cities, as they need a vast area of land and sometimes water. All electricity produced in a power plant is alternating current (AC). The type of electric current found in your home is direct current (DC)1.

In general, power plants can be divided into two categories – conventional and non-conventional power plants.

Conventional power plants are2:

  • Fossil fuel power plants: Generates electric power by burning fossil fuels like coal, natural gas or diesel.
  • Nuclear power plants: Controlled nuclear reaction is maintained to generate electricity.
  • Hydroelectric power plants: Electricity is produced by building dams on suitable rivers.

Non-conventional power plants are:

  • Wind power plants: The kinetic energy of wind is used to create power.
  • Solar power plants: Generates power by collecting solar radiation.
  • Geothermal power plants: Uses the natural heat found in the deep levels of the earth to generate electricity.
  • Biomass power plants: Natural organic matter is burnt to produce electricity.

 

Video

Context

Each power plant technology has advantages and disadvantages. For example, nuclear power plants provide large quantities of reliable power with low levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil fuel power plants deliver on-demand, consistent and reliable energy when the resources are available. Hydro, solar and wind power plants generate renewable electricity, thereby delivering emissions-free electricity.3 To find out more about the advantages of disadvantages of each power plant type, visit the respective generation source topic page.

Dive deeper

Recent blog posts about Power Plant

No items found.

External resources

INTERNATIONAL OR PROMINENT INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

Electricity Supply Association of Australia

Federation of Electric Power Companies – Japan

ElectricNet

Canadian Electricity Association

American Public Power Association

CARILEC – Association of Caribbean Electric Utilities

Electrical Safety Foundation International

RESEARCH INSTITUTION

Institute of Combustion and Power Plant Technology

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Central Power Research Institute of India

ACADEMIC JOURNAL

The Electricity Journal

HISTORY

Institute for Energy Research

POLITICS

The World Bank

The World Bank

ECONOMICS

U.S. Department of Energy

Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Japan Focus

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

U.S. Department of Energy

World Nuclear Association

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

BUSINESS ANALYSIS

U.S. Department of Energy

World Energy Council

Asian Development Bank

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

HEALTH IMPACT

World Nuclear Association

Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

SUSTAINABILITY

Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership

Global Electricity Initiative

Canadian Electricity Association

Canadian Electricity Association

Alstom

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

OTHER INTERESTING ESSAYS/ARTICLES

Electrical4u

ExplainThatStuff

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Department of Energy

The National Museum of American History

Independent UK

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

U.S. Department of Energy

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review

Loading...